Nazareth Borough Council met Monday, November 7 to discuss grants, blitz spending, the hiring of a full-time police officer, parking, and the 2023 budget.
First, council members approved a resolution to honor the Borough Employee of the Year, Erin Bowers, following her receipt of the Northampton County Award as Nazareth Borough’s top employee in 2022. Mayor Lance E. Colondo presented Bowers with a resolution, which stated: “Whereas Erin Bowers has proudly, faithfully, and effectively served the borough of Nazareth as an employee of its public works department for the past 17 years. Whereas the council of the Borough of Nazareth wishes to honor a person who has meant so very much to our borough in its day-to-day operations, its park system, and the maintenance and well-being of its plantings, flowers, shrubberies, and landscaping features. Now therefore be it resolved, and it is hereby resolved by borough council assembly, that Erin Bowers be thanked and commended as Nazareth Boroughs Employee of the Year for 2022.”
Next, Executive Director of the Northampton County Housing Authority, Gwen Didden, shared that she will be at the Oliver C. Border House two days a week (usually Mondays and Thursdays) and wants people to know how to get a hold of her. She is proud of the work she does and believes that social services are an important asset to the community, which needs to be protected in order to preserve housing needed for vulnerable populations. Didden can be reached at 610-759-8488 or email@example.com.
Under new business, council unanimously approved the following motions under Public Property: directing the secretary to advertise the yearly closing of the skate park on December 1, the park will reopen on April 1, 2023; a resolution certifying the submission of the Nazareth Regional Ambulance Corps’ grant initiative proposals for a Northampton County LSA Grant to seek funds for a transport van and for a Monroe County LSA Grant to seek funds for a Stryker Power Loading Stretcher System, which costs approximately $54,000, and a COVID-19 ARPA Pandemic Response Grant to seek $85,000 in funds for the Playground at Veteran’s Memorial Square; additional improvements to the chimneys at the library at a cost of $2,690; and the request of the Nazareth Area Baseball and Softball Association for spring, summer, and fall use of various fields within the borough.
Under Finance, council unanimously approved the payment of $81,406 divided into quarterly payments as the borough’s share of 2023 library support; the proposed 2023 operating budget and its advertisement, which does not contain a tax increase for residents; formal acknowledgment receipt of the “Second Tranche” of the American Rescue Plan money received in September in the amount of $299,355.42; and the prohibition of last minute “blitz spending” during the final 45 days of 2022 by department heads—any expenditures not previously approved in the 2022 budget will require full council approval.
Under Police, council unanimously approved a handicapped parking space at 23 West Center St.; the sale of 10 cases of 12-gauge federal slugs to Bushkill Township for $800; the sale of the borough’s 2008 Crown Victoria patrol vehicle to Paul Fiore for $800; the hiring of full-time police officer Austin Signarovitz on a one-year probationary basis effective November 28; and the request of the Nazareth Area/Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce for free downtown parking on Black Friday (November 25) and Small Business Saturday (November 26) with no charges for parking in the metered zone on those days.
For the month of October, the Nazareth Borough Police Department reported a total of 281 total calls, which consisted of: 38 crimes reported and investigated, seven criminal arrests, three drug-related crimes, 20 Part 1 offenses, 65 traffic citation, 30 warnings issued, three reportable accidents, and 11 non-reportable accidents. Parking Enforcement issued a total of 373 parking tickets and violations for the month of October for a total monthly income of $15,034.08.
In other business, council unanimously approved the request of Vigilance Hose Fire Company to stage the annual St. Patrick’s Day Shamrock 5K Race on March 18, 2023, with the Nazareth Special Fire Police assuming responsibility for traffic control and necessary road closures beginning at 9 a.m., with the race following at 10 a.m.
For the month of September, the fire department responded to 27 service calls, which consisted of: nine fire alarms, three EMS assists, two motor vehicle accidents, one tree down, one spill, one wire problem, one gas strike, one burn complaint, and eight mutual assists.
Under Law, council unanimously approved a resolution that compels the borough tax collector to waive additional charges and late fees for certain real estate taxes for which notices were not received; direction for the Borough Solicitor to draft a letter endorsing the borough’s support for a bill before the Pennsylvania Legislature amending the Civil Service Rules and make those rules apply only to boroughs with 10 or more full-time police officers; and advertisement of an ordinance change to establish a no parking area on the south side of East Prospect Street at the corner of Franklin Street.
Last, council unanimously approved the December 1 closing of the yard waste facility for the season and its advertisement, which will reopen on or around March 28, 2023, and the hiring of the firm of Barton and Loguidice for the development of an engineer’s opinion of probable cost to design, permit, and construct a Yard Waste Drop-Off and Processing Area and a Recycling Drop-Off Area at a cost of $8,000.
The regularly scheduled borough workshop meeting on December 29 has been canceled.
The next regularly scheduled Nazareth Borough Council meeting will be held on Monday, December 5 at 6 p.m. in Nazareth Council Chambers.